This vintage real photo postcard features the Powell Street Cable Car Trolley on it’s turn-table at Powell and Market Streets in San Francisco, California. This image offers a great look back at early San Francisco history. There is a lot happening in this photograph. Look carefully and you will see two conductors working to turn the trolley around. Actually one seems to be doing all the physical labor while the other checks out the action on the street. In addition to the pedestrians in the image, you can also see a woman and her child boarding the cable car as it turns around. It is also interesting to note the businesses that appear in the photograph. The Clinton Cafeteria and the Owl Drug Company are clearly seen. Preliminary research reveals that the Clinton Cafeteria was located at 18 Powell Street. The book, San Francisco Art Deco (2007) asserts that the restaurants basement dining room had marble floors and potted plants. From six to eight PM the restaurant offered self served diners live dinner music provided by a string orchestra. The second business in the photograph, The Owl Drug Company, was a drugstore chain headquartered in San Francisco. It was established in 1892 and was a subsidiary of Rexall. The photographer of this photograph is Alexander J. “Zan” Stark (1889-1967). He was born in Michigan and moved to California in his early twenties. Zan Stark was a postcard photographer. He worked out of his studio in Mill Valley.  He used the professional name of “Zan of Tamalpais” between the 1920’s and the early 1950’s. This postcard is credited to Zan (no. 316). The stamp box on this vintage postcard indicates that it was published on Eastman Kodak paper  sometime between 1939 and 1950.



Published in: on October 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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trolley one 1


trolley one

This wonderful vintage photograph gives us a view of an important mode of transportation in America’s past. The Rothschild Park trolley was operated by the Wausaw Electric Railway. This photograph features a trolley car and two uniformed conductors. In 1906 the Wausau Street Railway Company was organized to bring electric transportation to Wausau. Sometime around 1915 the railway became the Wisconsin Valley Merrill Railway and Lighting Company. Note the sign stating “Rothschild Park” on the front of the trolley car. The story of Rothschild Park is quite interesting. The park was located, unsurprisingly, in Rothschild, Wisconsin which was about six miles from Wausau. Rothschild Park was owned by the Wausau Electric Railway and must have been quite a fun place to visit. The park offered 40 acres of water, islands and land. Attractions included a roller coaster, dance floor, catering hall, and more. In 1912 it cost ten cents to get to the park from Wausau. The photographer of this terrific image is unknown.

Railway or Trolley Car Motorman in Omaha, Nebraska


This Cabinet card is an image of a railway or trolley car worker. The badge on his cap is labeled “motorman”. If he worked for a trolley line, than he worked for the Omaha Cable Tramway Company which operated in Omaha between 1884 and 1894. Instead, he may have worked on a train belonging to the Union Pacific Railroad which was one of several railroads operating in Omaha, Nebraska. It would be great to read some comments from readers who may have expertise or knowledge concerning the railway history of Omaha. The photographer of this photograph is Gray, of Omaha. To view other photographs by Gray, click on the category “Photographer: Gray (NE)”.

Published in: on January 7, 2009 at 2:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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